Japanese Seasonal Foods
In Japan, there are 4 distinct seasons, and foods that reflect each season. They eat them not just only to feel the seasons, but also to manage their health. This time we are going to see popular seasonal dishes.
Japanese spring is beautiful and brings the end of the dark, long winter and new beginnings; the starts of the school year and the new business cycle and flowers are blooming.
Among those flowers, Japanese people treat cherry blossoms very specially as a symbol of spring, and they enjoy it not only by seeing but also by eating. For example, teas and rice cakes using cherry blossoms are very popular at Japanese tea ceremonies and salted cherry blossom petals are even eaten with rice.
Dishes with edible wild plants are very popular because they make Japanese people feel the coming of spring. Especially, people eat deep fried warabi, Japanese angelica, horsetail plant, and fuki plant as typical spring foods.
Also horsetail plants are used a lot for Japanese spring cuisine in many ways. They cook them with rice, simmer them with other ingredients and also make salad with it.
In summer, people prefer foods that cool your body temperature in Japan. Noodles called “somen”, “soba” and “hiyamugi” are very popular and they are eaten with some spices called “yakumi” that help keep your health in a good condition.
Also mackerel, cucumber, eggplants and tomato come into season in summer, so it is common to make salad with them. Summer vegetables have abounding nutrition and cool the body temperatures so that they are used a lot in summer dishes in Japan.
Autumn is the season of harvest. In Japan, people use salmon, sanma, chestnut and ginkgo fruit as ingredients and cook them in many ways. They roast salmon in a foil wrapper and cook sanma with salt. Cooking rice with chestnuts is popular.
In winter, Japanese people eat a hot pot dish called nabemono. They enjoy not only the dish itself, but also the atmosphere it creates of people gathering in one place to talk too. It makes your body and the rooms warmer.
Nabemono has a variety of formats and tastes, including tomato taste. Some of the good points of nabemono are that we can easily cook seasonal vegetables, meats and seafood into one pot and also it is good for our health.
It is a part of Japanese food culture to enjoy the seasonal foods. It is recommendable to feel senses of the seasons by eating them.